About Me

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I have spent a great deal of my life battling illness. I suffered from Crohn's Disease and eventually had abdominal surgery, thwarting the Crohn's and budding cancer cells. Since my surgery in 1995 I have been relatively free from Crohns', although I had several subsequent surgeries related to my ileostomy..When my disease was in remission, I don't think my husband realized how bad it could get, but he has stood by me. I also have suffered from various autoimmune disorders and am diagnosed with Stage IV Kidney Disease. Fortunately, I am maintaining and do not need dialysis at this point. We adopted our son and later found out he had cerebral palsy, so he became my career. Dan has had two surgeries and tons of therapy and is able to walk because of it. He is a college graduate and is employed as an Information Specialist. We are very proud of his accomplishements. I am now part of the retired generation and still getting used to the idea. I do enjoy crafting, traveling and being with family and friends. I am active in my church and feel that the hardships we endure are there to build our faith. I like to live life in the "now" as we never know how much time is left.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

So, Is Christmas Over?

So, Christmas is over?
It seems like there was such a month of scurrying to get cards done, presents bought and wrapped, and all the hub bub.  Now that is behind us.
Christmas Eve I failed to take many pictures.

Christmas Day in our PJ's

You know you are getting old when you like work pants!


                                                            At my best friend's house!

My niece and her daughter, Godson and his brother and Linda.

Doing what guys do best.
A nice picture of my great niece and myself

My sister's kids!  (they're old!)
Karson is a sweetie and is being taken care of by his Grandma

Missed the sunset!

Also missed seeing my little guy, great great nephew, Tommy!

Life went back to normal yesterday.  I did laundry; Jim golfed.  Wait!  That's not normal for December 26th!  It was 40°!  What's with that?  No white Christmas this year although it is on it's way (so they say).

We plan on going to the Green Bay Botanical Garden of Lights tonight.  I hope I get some good pictures.  I have never seen it before.

Monday, December 22, 2014

WARNING! Religious Content! Merry Christmas!

The older I get, the more important church is in my life!  It just doesn't feel right if I don't go on Sunday morning.  It would be like leaving the house without brushing my teeth!  It fills the hole in my life for another week.  There, I meet with Jesus through the sacrament of Communion and His word.  Oh, certainly, God is in the woods, and by the lake, and you don't have to go to church to feel His presence, but it sure is easier to partake of His gifts to us in his house!
We are very blessed with our minister.  He gives great sermons and leaves us with something to always think about.  After church there is a Bible study.  Sometimes, we get hung up on a subject.
Yesterday we discussed a relationship with God.  It is personally painful to me to be married to a non-believer and my son is part of the group we call, the C&E'ers (Christmas and Easter).  Many young people have left the church.  They figure if they show up once or twice a year, that is good.  The babies are not baptized and the children do not go to Sunday School and learn about Jesus.
Our minister likened it to a love affair or a marriage. If you love someone, you WANT to be with them!  (Not just once or twice a year!)  God wants to be with us, and that is why he sent his son, IMMANUEL:  God with us!
It makes me want to see Him more often.  I have been remiss in attending services for Advent and Lent. Perhaps my heart would be better prepared for his birthday if I had attended Advent services.
I am trying to focus on the true meaning of Christmas and not get hung up on the small stuff.
Have a Blessed Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

'Twas the Week before Christmas

I got my cards out, and started to receive mine.
I tape them on my cabinets, and. I will clean the tape off later.
These are some of the ornaments that I made.

I was in an ornament exchange.  I had these hanging by my clock, but moved them over the sofa (wherever I have nails) so people could see them better
Just one area of The Salvation Army distribution room.
Yesterday I went to work in the office at The Salvation Army. They asked me to help with the gift distribution instead.  They were swamped!  The day before was busier yet and nine volunteers didn't show up!  I only worked for about four hours.  My legs and feet were killing me from the concrete floors.  I don't know how some of the volunteers that are older than me do it all day!  Next year I will wear different shoes!  Each family gets a blanket and a certain amount of gifts per child.  They also get a bag of groceries for a Christmas Dinner.  There but for the grace of God go I.  Many have lost their jobs or can't find work.  Some have nicer cell phones than I do, but whatever, it is not for me to judge, but only for God.
The video I chose is too large, so you will have to enjoy this one!

My Godson is the guy with the Santa hat and red striped tie.  His brother has a royal blue shirt on and a b/w striped tie.
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

New Week, New "Friend" and New Haircolor!

The week had a bumpy start, but I am doing better!
Wednesday I helped out at The Salvation Army. I typed a bunch of Thank You letters (from a template) and addressed all the envelopes.  I told them, "I haven't even addressed my own Christmas cards yet!"  They make me feel very appreciated, which is good for my morale.  The employees are a great bunch of people!  They were talking about when they graduated from high school.  I said I graduated in 1970 and they said, "Oh, we would have thought you graduated in the 90's!"  That kept me going for a couple of days.  Who doesn't want to feel 20 years younger?  I think they were just buttering me up so I keep volunteering!
The next day I started at my Christmas cards!  I will finish those today.
Friday I had an appointment at the beauty school for my hair color.  It takes twice as long, but costs half as much to have it done there.  My appointment was in the afternoon but I was in town in the morning, so I gave them a call to see if I could come then.  I got Dan, a tall, black man.  Initially, in my little small town world, I would have thought the worst of him.  I learned a lot about him.  He was 41, married, had three boys from a previous marriage and his wife had a girl from a previous relationship.  He was going to school because his mom and aunt were both hairdressers and he thought it was a good, honest living.  He delivers pizza on the weekend.  His wife works as a teacher's aide and is also going to school.    We talked about family, Christmas (oh no, I started to cry when I spoke of my mom and he let me take a break), Ferguson, and church and the Bible.  He was just a nice guy and many people would never have guessed it.  He was old school.
There was this older woman who sat across from me and immediately started to crank about getting her hair scrubbed, not massaged, and don't cut it too short, etc.  I told Dan he was getting off easy that day.  When he shampooed my hair, I got the best scalp massage ever!  We both said we will always think of that lady when it comes to a shampoo and had a chuckle.
I have a new hair color.  I am not used to it yet.  "Is that me in the mirror?"  It is only color, and I can do something different next time.  I think my real color is a mousy brown with "natural" highlights.
The neck and hands don't lie.   I am 62.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Today is a Better Day!

It's a new day.
Yesterday I called my doctor to see about increasing my antidepressant or adding Abilify.
They didn't call back yet.
I decided yesterday when I couldn't stop crying to take a Xanax and lie down and rest.  That helped.
I realized that there is nothing wrong in needing my meds.  I have clinical depression.  Someone with heart disease needs their meds. Someone with diabetes needs their insulin.  I do know I can't go on crying all the time.
So today I am okay.  I will call the doctor's office.  I will write out my Christmas cards.  I will take my son to work.  I will do laundry.  Life will go on.
Last night we went out to eat.  (the way to my heart is through my stomach).  My sister met us at the restaurant.  It is just one of those family restaurants, not a chain or anything.  My sister ordered pork chops.  They looked like they had been cooked two days ago and then put in the microwave!  They were so dry and didn't even resemble anything you could chew!  I ordered Fettuccine Alfredo (pasta is my comfort food).  It tasted like white sauce with no hint of cheese.  I got something else, Connie got the pork chops taken off of her bill.  My son's food was way overdone too, but he eats anything!  Needless to say, we won't be returning any time soon.  We did have a laugh over our awful food!
Tonight I will make a beef roast!


Monday, December 8, 2014

Depression at Christmastime

I hate depression!  Few people understand it.  They say, "get over it, things will get better."
You can't explain why you feel so sad, why the tears don't stop.
So many people have it worse than me, but still, I am sad.  I miss my Mom.
My sister misses her husband.  My girlfriend misses her health.
I don't feel like cleaning or writing out cards.  I don't care about decorations.  They remind me of the fact that my Mom won't see them.
I took a Xanax.  I called my doctor's office to advise me if I should increase my antidepressant.    They will call back this afternoon. 
I don't want to go to a grief support group.  I don't want to listen to other's cry.
I just want to get through this season.  I want Spring.
I want prayer.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

It's Beginning to Feel A Lot like Christmas!

I finally got my ornaments out in the mail.  I think most everyone who reads my blog, has received theirs, so here they are!
They might not look like much, but they were a lot of work!  I had to make 12 of them, but made some extras just in case.  They are on my little table that I set up in the living room.  I sit cross legged at it and craft while watching TV.
I will show you the ones I received with I get them all!
Tuesday was our Red Hat party.  We had a short meeting, had dinner and a fun gift exchange where you end up swapping gifts!  I found a cute little elf hat that day at the thrift store so wanted to wear it.
After all, it has red in it..

Think I will wear this when I help distribute the gifts for the Salvation Army!

My bff, Linda, got this picture!  She didn't have a gift for the exchange, but the person who bought it insisted that she have it and gave her gift to a person who couldn't make it.

The decorations were festive
 Wednesday was supposed to be my day to volunteer at the Salvation Army, but I got sick at around 4am.  It was my Interstitial Cystitis.  It didn't get really bad this time, Thank God!   I was able to stop the spasms by taking a valium and resting.    The urologist ordered a urine test for me, but I cannot get in to see him until January 12th!  I hope I don't get any more flare ups before then.
Thursday was my morning at the Senior Center.  There was a Christmas Cookie sale, so of course, I had to support the cause and bought two dozen frosted!  They are hidden away in the coat closet.  The director wanted me to do a commercial on the radio for them, but my voice is still all froggy from my cold.
Yesterday I finished up some Christmas shopping and then went by my sister who was taking care of her great grandson, Tommy!  He had come over in his pj's so she kept them on him for a while.
He is a good natured little boy!  About one and a half, he is at a fun age!  All the toys to choose from, and he still likes the stack rings!
We finished the day with a visitation of a man who was a co-worker of my husband's.  He had a large family and was such a nice guy.  As we were almost out the door, we looked at many of the pictures of his life.   There was a very touching poem in the center of it.  It brought on my tears and I had to leave.  I still miss my mom this time of year.  I can't imagine losing my husband.  As my hubby's uncle (the undertaker)  always said, "life is sad."

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Getting Busy for Christmas!

I have been busy, despite my  cold which (drum roll please...) is no longer bothering me!
I made some Christmas cards.
You can't see my ornaments for my ornament exchange just yet!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Quiet but Thankful Week

The week began with an appointment to the oncologist with my friend, Linda.  I was her driver.  I like to help out however I can.  It was so good to see her walk on her own two feet, down the hall to the office!
The doctor is VERY nice, and was receptive to my questions as well.  Right now everything hinges on her heart condition.  He is confident that she will beat this too.  I think so too.  She has a wonderful attitude and is quite disciplined.  (I would find it so hard to follow a low/no sodium diet!)
Another thing, I was happy about was that she was interested in a card kit!  I am glad to see she is showing interest in her hobbies now that she is feeling better.
I was coughing in the office.  I thought it was just a dry throat cough, a tickle.  On Tuesday I felt awful.  The cough had kept me up all night.  I stocked up on DayQuil and NightQuil.  I got a good night's sleep, but my chest was tight and I had laryngitis for three days!  I needed stronger medicine, something with dextromethorphan!  (It is not easy to check out with laryngitis, especially if you are purchasing gift cards too!)
Thanksgiving was quiet; just the three of us.  Hubby helped with the preparation and clean up.
My turkey tasted good, but was not at all like the pictures as it was overdone and fell off the bone.
At least it finally got brown! 
I got my ornaments done for my ornament exchange with my online craft group.  There are thirteen of us!  I will be sure to post plenty of pics AFTER the exchange!  Some might read my blog.
My cough is finally starting to become productive...gross, but good!
Hubby has been hanging with his buds for the last two days.  (I guess he can have some guy time.
I will just make some dinner for our son and I.)  Time for me to work on some Christmas cards!
P.S.  I didn't give my cough to Linda.  She had it first!
I was reading  posts, and went o Modly Chic and read about this  subscription for  makeup and beauty care junkies like myself.  I was hooked.  Check it out!

Monday, November 24, 2014

A New Week

I am so thankful for all the prayers for Linda!  She is home and continues with medical treatment and frequent check ups.  Please continue to pray for her and that her heart would be healed!
I have been busy making ornaments for an ornament exchange (to be posted at a later date!).
Saturday I went to a card class.  It was called make 10 cards with a 12" x 12" sheet of paper.  Of course you need 10 card bases and envelopes.  I think I would like to add a red back ground to mine as I think the red makes it pop!
It was a two hour class.  I would like to use more festive paper, but the instructor chose this for someone (who didn't even come) who doesn't celebrate holidays.  You can see how these cuts can be adapted for any occasion though.
My favorites:

Jim and I went out for a burger later that evening. 
Sunday I had a nice little visit with Linda, her son and his family.  It was a good weekend!
Today I am taking Linda to her doctor appointment.  I need last minute groceries for Thanksgiving, and I have to get my Christmas decorations out on the porch before the snow flies later today!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Linda's Condition - Update Two

I went with another friend of mine and Linda's to go visit her yesterday.  It was the first time I saw a twinkle in her eye and a smile in a long time!  (I don't think it was from the tiramisu cheese cake, was it?)
They have taken her off of the oxygen and IV meds.  She was retaining a LOT of fluid!   Now the puffiness in her face and everywhere has gone down.  She was able to do some steps without the oxygen on!  That is a major accomplishment.
Linda's heart has permanent damage.  She will never be the same "old" Linda.  Her daughter did some research on how the heart disease was caused by the chemo drugs and it is a really small percentage of people that this happens to.  Linda just drew the "not so golden" ticket.  She is being very strong and blunt about her condition.  Right now they have to get her heart stabilized and the breast cancer is way on the back burner.  There is more chance that she could die of the heart condition than the cancer.
Linda has had many visitors.  She is okay on her own though and doesn't mind being alone.  She is very bored and used to always doing something.  I hope she doesn't over do it when she gets home!
She could be coming home today.  They will keep her on oral medications, pro-time labs and echocardiograms can be done at our home town hospital.  She will be following up with the specialists in Milwaukee though! 
I have known Linda as long as she has been married....24 years?  She married my younger sister's husband (we love to tell people that!).  My younger sister had passed away from a three year battle with breast cancer that had spread throughout her body.  Kevin remarried.  The kids were small.  He was young.  We didn't want to like Linda.  She certainly didn't want to like us!  Linda and I went for lunch and decided that it was not her fault that Wendy died, and not my fault that I was her sister, and Linda has been a dear friend and member of our family ever since.  My mom even thought of her as another daughter.
Many years ago Linda and I both sold Avon.  One of the ladies had a friend who had a pontoon and we all went on a ride.  Weren't we some hot chicks?  It looks like 1996!  How time flies!
I have accepted her condition and have given it to God.  I will stay strong for my friend and be by her side.  

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Rambling On or How and Why I am Losing It

I am trying to catch up on the blogs.  First, I was in Florida and my cousin has a VERY slow computer so I waited until I got home to blog.  Secondly, this has been a very busy week.
Monday I volunteered at the Senior Center and then went to visit my bff.   I took Linda to the doctor as her  lips were blue!  They didn't seem too concerned.
She had an echocardiogram scheduled for Wednesday and they bumped up her appointment to Friday.
Big whoop!  She should have been admitted that day! Thursday morning the cardiologist's office called her and told her to go to a much larger hospital in Milwaukee.  She called her husband at work, got bathed, and off they went.  It is a drive, but it is a place that specializes in hearts!
Her heart problem is caused by one of her chemo drugs.  Did I mention that the heart problem was discovered when they did her pre-op exam?  No breast cancer surgery for now.
Friday I volunteered in the office at The Salvation Army. It feels good to volunteer, like I am being useful. 
I know I am rambling.
My husband I went to see Linda yesterday.  Her condition is VERY serious.  I am beside myself.
Today I went to church and just cried as I love her so much and am so afraid.  Funny thing, she was comforting me yesterday!  That is Linda.
Here she is behind me in the pink top.  (She always has my back!)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The End of Vacation

November 8th, Our Journey Home
We arrived at the Fort Myers airport plenty early only to be told our flight would be delayed and we won't be able to catch our connecting flight.  Please go to the customer service counter.
We did and had to have our tickets changed.  This would mean we would land in Minneapolis at 3:15 pm and arrive in Milwaukee, WI at 9pm.  (I never thought of seeing if they had a flight to Green Bay!)
Okay, so we visit with our cousin for a while, go through security, etc. and wait.  We had a smooth flight!  They provided a headset (which didn't fit our small ears) and a movie (a guy movie which I would like to watch with my husband)  We gave up on the movie and headset.
We landed in Minneapolis and WOW!  What a humongous airport!  The special needs attendant wheeled my sister and then we got on the electric cart to our gate F-13.  We ate at a nearby restaurant
so my sister wouldn't have to walk too far.  The food was good, but it was rather expensive (it is an airport and we are a captive audience).  We sat, read and chatted.  I then noticed that they changed our gate to C-3!  I saw an airport phone for assistance.  I called and the customer service person wasn't very helpful at first, but she confirmed that our gate had changed.  I asked about the electric cart taking us there.  She said we would have to walk way over to the blue area!  I said, no, my sister needs to be wheeled over there.  She said go to the counter by your gate.  There is no one at the counter!  That is why I am calling you!  Well, there is a number for special assistance, I will call them.  If you think it will help, she replied.  Special assistance came and took us to the other side of the airport! 
We were one of the first to be able to board this time, because of my sister's medical problem.  That really helped her since she didn't have to stand forever in a line boarding the plane while people put their bags in overhead bins.
We made it to Milwaukee.  My husband met us.  We looked for our luggage but it wasn't coming around on the carousel.  My sister who was standing back with our carry-ons, heard some ladies talking.  Our baggage made the earlier connecting flight, even though we didn't!
It was a cold, long drive home.  Welcome to Wisconsin!
*We do have heat in the car!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Vacation - Day 6 and other stuff!

Friday, November 7th
Well, we haven't had much beach or pool time.  As we are aging we are slowing down, the heat gets to us and we need to rest, but today we need to go to the BEACH!
Two old backsides!
Should I go out further?
Embracing the waves!

 I took a picture of my cousin, Shirley.  The waves kept coming, knocking me over and on my butt! (Wish I had a video!)  More and more waves, but I saved the camera by falling on my butt and keeping the camera in the air with my right hand!  "Help!  I've fallen and I can't get up!"  "No, I would rather take your picture instead!" 

I was just laughing so hard!  My inner child came out and I could have sat there for a long time if I didn't look so ridiculous!  A younger couple was looking on....I think they thought they would have to intervene.
In the evening we went to a fish house that didn't smell fishy!  We ate at Skip One, nothing fancy, but the best and freshest seafood I have eaten since the old days and my dad used to fish!
My bff, Linda is in the hospital.  She had another echocardiogram (Nov. 12th) and her heart was worse.  The doctors have NOT been listening to her complaints!  The cardiologist's office told her to go to St. Lukes in Milwaukee which is a much larger hospital and specializes in heart disease.  Already the IV Lasix is helping, or at least, working.  Please continue to keep her in your prayers.  You may put this on your blog.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Vacation - Day 5

Thursday, November 6th
Last Thursday we took a short walk over to the Collier County Museum.  It was very interesting, and I must say I learned more there than on the historic walking tour.  We went through the museum from the prehistoric days to the late 1990's.  It covered the Immokalee, Seminole Indians, the Crackers (cattle ranchers), the early turn of the century, the construction of the Tamiami  Trail and how Baron Gift Collier made it his mission to connect Everglade City to Naples.   There were also many movies made there.
After that we went to view the historic engravings of Jaques Le Moyne and Theodore de Bry of life in Florida in the late 1500s.   They were very detailed and description of the native life there was very graphic.
That evening we met for dinner with "the gang" or what is left of it.  It is a group of people my cousin knows from church.  One of her friends has the beginning of Alzheimer's, so her daughter and son in law accompany her.  Her other friend just had to put her husband in a nursing home.
My sister closed her eyes!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Vacation - Day 4

Wednesday, November 5th
Last week Wednesday we went on a Historic Walking Tour of old Naples.
We met at Palm Cottage
We walked past all the old cottages that had historical significance due to who lived there.
I don't remember all the stories and would have to read this book.
When you think of it, Naples was quite different then.  No major highways.  No pest control, so you had snakes, mosquitoes and the like.  The cottages we saw weren't built with kitchens.
The building used a mixture of sand and shells for construction. 
 Also pine was plentiful and didn't allow water to seep through.
 Everyone ate at the Naples Hotel 
which was up the road from the Naples pier.  It was one long boardwalk!
The hotel has since been demolished as it was beyond restoration.

Nice little cottages

This was the mercantile.
These buildings are on 3rd Avenue. 
We continued on, through the sand and up an alley.
The DuPonts had a huge wall built on their property to protect their children around the time that the Lindberg baby was kidnapped.  It extends a block.  Many of the cottage properties included another family member's cottage as well.
We ended up back at Palm Cottage where we toured the inside.  The walls were full of photos of historic Naples.  That was very interesting.  I am anxious to buy and read the book!